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Keywords:

  • Spanish;
  • foreign language;
  • proficiency development;
  • speaking;
  • writing

Abstract

An important task for foreign language (FL) instructors and researchers is to understand how the development of each language skill affects other aspects of language acquisition. This case study seeks to determine if speaking and writing proficiencies develop at similar rates among FL learners. Seventeen students enrolled in beginning, intermediate, and advanced Spanish courses at a mid-sized U.S. university were administered the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and Writing Proficiency Test. Speaking and writing proficiency scores were then correlated. Results showed a fairly strong correlation between speaking and writing scores among experimental group participants, but much weaker correlations between proficiencies when each of the three groups was examined individually. Some students were more proficient writers than speakers, others better writers than speakers, and others equally proficient.